When we had Emma, 4 and a half years ago, we immediately put her on the list for the baby room at the Boys and Girls Club of Yarmouth.
For those of you that are sans babies or have reliable daycare available in the form of family, it's hard to get daycare for a 1 year old. Most daycares take 18 months and up.
It's even more difficult to find a daycare for a 1 year old that doesn't have television time in their schedule or doesn't rely on a diet of cookies, hot dogs and mac and cheese.
The Boys and Girls Club had everything we wanted and supported all we did in Emma's transition to being out of the home.
We were thrilled when we found out Emma could start daycare at the Boys and Girls Club- Bond street, just a couple days before I returned to work.
I had no idea what I was getting into: working full time, with a toddler and a husband that owns his own business.
Emma has been at the Bond street Boys and Girls club now for almost 4 years....and this week she leaves to go the Early Years Centre across from Central School. It's a happy transition. It's a step in the process of growing up. But it's hard.
The ECEs, teachers and volunteers at the Boys and Girls club have seen Emma and I through nursing while returning to work, cloth diapering while returning to work, weaning, figuring out napping, potty training, learning how to talk, picky eating, endless colds, flus, illnesses, writing names, learning shapes, colors, numbers, letters, learning empathy, compassion and social skills.
How does one say thank you?
For being the people that were there for your child, when you could not be.
For being the people that help you figure out this whole parenting thing.
It's near impossible.
But we do what we can.
Andrew and I talked about having a yardsale for some time. The need to purge stuff. We weren't looking to make lots of money. We just wanted to get rid of stuff.
I had the idea of a free-sale. Take this stuff I don't use... If you can use it, take it.
But then we talked about maybe taking donations for a cause. We realized it was perfect timing.
So yesterday, we had a yardsale. Gave others the opportunity to take things that we did not need anymore..and make a donation instead of giving money to us.
Some people took things without making a donation. And that's ok. You don't know what battles people are fighting.
Others were amazingly generous to the cause.
I wish that we could give more. We will be giving the Boys and Girls Club $124.15. A drop in the bucket for purchasing all the food, supplies, paying for and maintaining the building, paying for heat, electricity and utilities.... salaries.
Oh did I mention?
These amazing people...the ones I trust my child's life, well being, and development with every day during the work week.... some of them make minimum wage. Some just above.
Most ECEs do not have benefits. No sick time. No health or dental benefits.
So maybe while I can only give $124.15 to thank them, the real gift would be to spread ongoing awareness and advocacy for professional pay for professional work. So I will. We will.
In short, they deserve more. For the expectations we have of them? They deserve more.
(I mean seriously who else could look after a roomful of screaming toddlers 5 days a week and maintain sanity?)
You can find out more at http://nschildcareassociation.org/worthy-wage-day-2015/
Thanks to every person that spent time with Emma at the Boys and Girls Club. Every hug that was given, every word of discipline. Every piece of advice, every diaper changed. Every drop of spit up that was mopped up, every lunch provided. Every story read, every game played. Every good day we had, and every bad.
It means so much to us.
|Emma's first mother's day gift from daycare. Courtesy of Nicole LeBlanc and Brittany Wray ;)|